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Computers and Human Reason

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7/18 There are still some assignments that need to be turned in ASAP.  Make sure you check the Credit Checklist, Found under Sessions/July 13/ ToDo.  You will need to post your Phone, Craps and XML/DOM web addresses to WebX. Our big exam will be in 2 days, so make sure you can read and write code.  Be thinking of a time on Thursday evening that would work for you for the evaluation.

7/17 Getting Help:  I will be in Seattle today, and will plan to be back around 6 tonight, but I hear there is still some I5 construction so I may end up being late.  I will plan to stay up late, so if you are available and need help, tonight would be good.  I have an appointment Monday am at 9, but will be back online around 10. Tuesday evening I will be available from 6-10+, but I will make myself available at other times if you need help preparing for the exam.  Please get the help you need so you can excell in the reading and writing portions of the evaluation.

7/16 Remember, the ďexamĒ this Monday is really an assignment:  Review and prepare the information you have available from the book, and remember you will have limited time (1 hr) to complete the assignment.  There will be 50 questions, 25 from class and 25 from the book.  On Wednesday you will have 2 hours to do 2 read code examples (one with functions calls and tracing the runtime stack)  a program to write with and without arrays, and a short output queston on nested arrays.  Be sure you prepare.  Also, check the Credit Checklist to make sure you have the required work done.  Have Craps ready to turn in on Monday.  The XML will be due Wednesday.  Post the Web Address for your ASP table dump code in WebX, and I will ask you to post your Craps and XML code there also, after you turn them in.   Be thinking about a time this Wednesday that would work for you for evaluations, and be preparing a self and faculty evaluation to give to me that evening. 

7/13 We need to schedule times for the class evaluation.  You will need a self and class evaluation turned into me at the evaluation date and time. Please check with other students if you are not certain of the procedures for producing these evaluation forms.  I would like to have our evaluations Thursday Evening from 6-10, since that seems the most likely time we could all meet. Be thinking about a time that would work for you, or email me of you are not available any time during this evening.  Make sure you are reviewing your textbook now, and your class notes. We have only one chapter left to cover  (Ch 10).  Time is short.  See you tonight!

7/12 Since I still have a couple of program still to be turned in, I will hand back all your assignments at your evaluation. If you have a question about one of them, please contact me. Tomorrow we will be starting to prepare for the exams next week.  On Monday we will be evaluating knowledge by having an exam over book and lecture material.  Wednesday, our final class, we will be testing over what you can do, primarily reading and writing of code. Make SURE you are practicing DILIGENTLY on both Reading code (ASK EARLY IF YOU ARE NOT PREDICTING OUTPUT CORRECTLY FOR REG AND FUNCTION OUTPUT) and Writing code.  I will be online Wednesday morning if you are having trouble reading or writing code.  Again, practice EARLY so you have time to get help.  It is a sinking feeling to be given a problem and a blank piece of paper and not know what to do.. donít put yourself in that position! We wil be going over XML tomorrow, and that will be your last assignment.

7/11 I was on my computer this morning, but did not realize until the afternoon that I was logged into another place.  If you tried to reach me in the morning, I appologize. If this prevented you from finishing Phone, let me know and I will extend the deadline. I have your other papers done, but Tye is still working on them, and I will hand them all back when I get the last one in. See you tonight

7/7  If you are having trouble starting on the Phone JavaScript program, I have made a second program called Phone Lite, that can be found on this site under Sessions/July 6/Selection/Phone Lite.  Try this one first unless you are confident of success on the original.  See if you can evolve Phone Lite into the original, but turn in the solution to Phone Lite if you cannot. Remember, you will turn in the decision table, code listing, and 2 sample runs on paper this Monday. I will be online off and on (mostly on) this morning and afternoon, and will be online Saturday evening from 6-10pm.  Please see me online if you have questions.  Do not forget to practice many examples of reading code, and post your entry into Output Challenge in WebX.

7/5  Tomorrow we will have a review of where we have been and a look at where we are going.  Take a look at the questions under Sessions/July 6/Programming Process/Review Questions.  Test yourself.  We will go over them in class also. Make sure you check the ToDo list for last time. You should have already let me know if you could not make class on Thursday.  Remember to save your work from the textbook examples, and come with questions in class.

7/3  Again, make every effort to be able to come to the make-up class from 6-10pm on Thursday. If you cannot make that work, please email me right away.  Wednesday we will start with the Ďgutsí of the class:  reading and writing basic code. It will be important to schedule enough time to practice this skill, so please do not overbook your time the next couple of weeks. Remember to check and complete the ToDo tasks for the lase few sessions. I added a partial answer (and some questions) for the Database normalization problem under Sessions/June 29/Database 2. Check it out and complete the diagram.  Have a GREAT 4th of July!

7/1  I will not be available this sunday evening online. We will make up an evening during the next week.  I will have online time Tuesday evening from 6-10 as usual, and will be available during that day, as well as Wednesday during the day off and on. Please get help with your database if you need it.  Also remember that our make-up class for the 4th will be this Thursday, July 7, from 6-10.  If you absolutely cannot make this time, please let me know and we will schedule some alternative.  Remember to post your website to the web space, and post your database there as well when you get it done. Get help if you are having trouble getting things to transfer.

6/30 One thing needs a major correction from last night.  We were talking about age being a calculated value (from date of birth) and I said that I had seen databases that used age as a field to avoid calculating that value over and over if age was used frequently. While this is a POSSIBLE reason, after thinking about this further, I cannot think of an instance where this reason would justify the use of age as a field. In fact, it is a perfect example of why you do NOT want to use a calculated value as a field. It will store bad information if not properly maintained.  I realized later that the databases I had seen using age were just examples concerned with demonstrating simple text, integer, decemal numbers, into a table, and age was a simple integer.  I used name and gpa also.. Perhaps more interesting would be GPA..  Should this be a field? It too could be calculated. What if a college was storing transcripts for graduates and they had frequent requests for GPAs, and the cumulative GPA hardly ever changed since the students were graduated. Without storing the GPA, every time a request was made for GPA, all the umteen grades would have to be calculated, which MIGHT slow the system.. Even here, however, I would be VERY reluctant to store a value that could be calculated.  What if there was a late change to a grade for a single class, and the GPA was not updated.. the grades and the cumulative grade would not agree.  Bad data! Moral.. Never (almost) store a value you can calculate.  Now, does that mean that GPA should never be a field? No!  What if we do not want to store every grade the student had, and only need the cumulative gpa? Think of an insurance company that gives a good student discount.  They only need the cumulative, and do not want all the class grades. Since they cannot calculate the GPA from their data, GPA is an appropriate field.. but even here, keeping the GPA is a little problem, since they have no way of updating it when an individual grade changes. Now, if you do not store Date of Birth, is it correct to store age since you cannot calculate age without Date of Birth?  I would say no, since you could just as easily store Date of Birth as age.   Thanks to Mark for getting this cleaned up.

6/29   Saw many of you online last night.  Thanks to those of you helping on the Change program. Remember, I may be helping 3 or 4 folks at th same time, so if I donít get back to you right away, that is the reason.. I will ASAP.  I will still hold online time this Sunday from 6-10pm, but remember that you can schedule other time, or just try to catch me online during the day. I am also living on campus, so you can see me Ďliveí during the day, or call me at 867-1797.  The important thing is to get help when you start to thrash and get frustrated.  Just go through the steps outlined on the HELP link on left of this page first. You will be turning in your change code, 2 copies of runs, and a copy of your first attempt at normalization for the Norm Problem found on Sessions/June27/Normalization/ Remember that if your Change program is one penny off, you are just fine.. dont worry about the computerís rounding error.

6/26 Make sure you let me know if you cannot get access to Access this week. One of your tasks will be to develop a database. We will do this in Access, and you will later make it web enabled. Try to install an FTP program.  Use the WebX Help or chat with me if you have trouble.  Remember, the web host is:  academic.evergreen.edu  The initial folder is: /(the first letter of your last name/(your user name)    You can find your user name at: http://grace.evergreen.edu/faqs.html Please write down question you have from Chapters 5 and 12.  Answering questions will be the first order of business. Also, remember to write short answers in your book for the review questions at the end of Ch 12, so you can use these for the quiz at the end of class.  The quiz will be open book.

6/25 (#2) Donít forget that I will be online from 6pm to 10pm on Sunday evening.  I will also be online from 6-10pm on Tuesday evenings.  Please use that time to get online help, or to call me with questions. Remember that we can and should arrange other times individually if you are not available during these time slots. Remember also that this online time really takes the place of the lab time in class, so use it accordingly.  Also, you will need to have the database program called Access (which comes with Office) avalable to you for the next assignments. If you do not have Access on your machine, see if you can find someone who does have it. If you cannot find it, you may need to come into the Evergreen labs to do this assignment.

6/25 Thanks for checking this page. Do so frequently.  Again, it is where I communicate with you.  Remember WebX is your forum.  Make sure you make entries required from the To Do list, in particular the Food For Though discussion this week.  If you need help from me, email me or catch me online. Again, call me if that works better for you. My number is:  867-1797. It is very possible to meet in the ACC or other places on campus by arrangement.  Make the best use possible of your resources.  Jason had a concern about typos in the book.  Try to use the website so you donít have to enter code, but also look at Jasonís entry in GWIFO if you are having trouble getting code to work.  This week is pretty light on programming, because it is imperative that we all get to the first step of being able to write, run change, and rerun code along with simple error finding skills. This can take some time, but do not go it alone if you are having problems.  Get help early. We will try to finalize a time for our makeup class next time.  I have initial info from you, but let me know if any times or dates change for you. It appears that July 5 or 7 from 6-10 is our best bet, but we will work out other options if you just canít make it then.

6/23 I will be gone today (Thursday) but will be back on Friday.  Please stay up with WebX work, and try to work with others in the class either through IM or in person.  Use the About Me in WebX or Email List above for contact information.  Remember, I will be online for sure from 6pm to 10pm on Sunday evening. I will be online other times as well, but you can count on Sunday and Tuesday evenings.

6/22 Very nice to talk with all of you last night.  Please plan on checking this home page every day, just as you would email.  I will communicate to the group through this page, and individually via email and IM.  WebX is your forum to help each other, but I will monitor that also. Please try to get an FTP program installed today, but do not thrash if you are having problems.  Let me know where you are getting stuck and we will get you unstuck. We will be getting a new student tonight. If someone is willing to go over their notes (mental or paper) on our first session with this student, let me know.  Make sure you check the To Do list for each session.  Remember the About Me html site is not due until next week, but be making enough early progress so that you can get some help.  If you have not done so already, read through all the links to the left (Writing Code, Help, Setup, etc..).  If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call me (867-1797).  As I told Terri last night, my teenagers are off to college, so the phone is once again a viable option. I am on campus for this 5 week session, and my priority now is this class, so donít let concerns or frustrations fester.  Lets solve them right away. I may update this page severa times per day, so check back often.  The most recent notes will be on the top.   Finally, the Email List link on the top of the page is now active.  Check it out and use email to communicate with each other.  Also add each email to your IM contact list.

Welcome to Computers and Human Reason, Summer of 2005.  I will post notices about the class on this home page several times per week.  Check this page often.

This course will explore the basics of computer science, how computers work, and their possibilities and limits.  We will then compare computer solutions to the types of problems that people can solve.  How do they differ? How WILL they differ in the future?

This class will be a hybrid class. Most of you lab time will be spent on your home computer, with access to the instructor and other students over the internet. Class time will be used primarily for seminar discussions and explainations.

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